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Epic Spell: what Spellcraft DC and how to reach it

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Anonymous
August 18, 2005 8:47:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

A little background: the campaign is drawing near its end. The players
will probably go up against a couple of god-like beings. They'll be no
wussies themselves (ECL ~ 25) but it's still intended to be tough, but
doable.

The players' "last stand" will commence on Mt. Celestia, where the
Celestial Hepdomad (Domiel, Erathaol, Raziel, Sophis Pistia, etc.) will
imbue them with some of their power, a blessing from above.

This will be reflected by an epic spell. One, in fact, that the party
sorcerer can / wants to cast. At lvl. 25, if he does not take Epic
Skill Focus, I expect his Spellcraft to be around +35: +28 ranks, +2
Intelligence, +3 Skill Focus, +2 synergy from Knowledge (arcana). This
does not include any magic items... he happens to have Vow of Poverty
as well. (The epic spell will be provided.)

The spell itself would roughly have the following effect:

* a 'telepathic bond' between all 7 members
* +8 enhancement bonus to all 6 stats for all 7 members
* Righteous Might (since all are medium-size, this means +4 size bonus
Str, +4 size bonus Constitution, Large size so -1 size penalties, DR
9/evil, etc.)
* Divine Power (+6 enhancement bonus is superseded, so 'only' BAB = +20
and +20 temporary hit points)
* this bond can not be dispelled, is not subject to antimagic, etc. It
is permanent until one of the 7 is killed.
* the 7 members count as archons (gain the archon subtype, including
all traits thereof)

Looking at the epic seeds, a ballpark figure would be:

seed: contact (23, +5 for 5 additional members)
seed: dispel (19, +2 'ad-hoc' for dispel protection)
seed: fortify (17, +14 for +7 additional bonus)
seed: transform (21, +5 for other creature type)
seed: ward (14, +5 for 5 additional resistance)

For a total of 23+5+19+2+17+14+21+5+14+5 or DC 125...

My questions:

- what would a 'real' Spellcraft DC for such a spell be (keeping in
mind that all 7 members already will have +6 enhancement bonus to all 6
stats
- what mitigating circumstances (other than the usual ones of increased
casting times, backlash etc.) could be reasonable and what discounts
would be reasonable (the Celestial Hepdomad must be present, all 7
members must be Exalted, etc.)
- how can you give a VoP sorcerer with Spellcraft +35 enough bonuses to
make this Spellcraft DC with a Take 10?
Anonymous
August 18, 2005 1:35:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 18 Aug 2005 04:47:04 -0700, "Arandor" <arandor@gmail.com> wrote:

>* a 'telepathic bond' between all 7 members
>* +8 enhancement bonus to all 6 stats for all 7 members
>* Righteous Might (since all are medium-size, this means +4 size bonus
>Str, +4 size bonus Constitution, Large size so -1 size penalties, DR
>9/evil, etc.)
>* Divine Power (+6 enhancement bonus is superseded, so 'only' BAB = +20
>and +20 temporary hit points)
>* this bond can not be dispelled, is not subject to antimagic, etc. It
>is permanent until one of the 7 is killed.
>* the 7 members count as archons (gain the archon subtype, including
>all traits thereof)
>
>Looking at the epic seeds, a ballpark figure would be:
>
>seed: contact (23, +5 for 5 additional members)
>seed: dispel (19, +2 'ad-hoc' for dispel protection)
>seed: fortify (17, +14 for +7 additional bonus)
>seed: transform (21, +5 for other creature type)
>seed: ward (14, +5 for 5 additional resistance)
>
>For a total of 23+5+19+2+17+14+21+5+14+5 or DC 125...
>
>My questions:
>
>- what would a 'real' Spellcraft DC for such a spell be (keeping in
>mind that all 7 members already will have +6 enhancement bonus to all 6
>stats
>- what mitigating circumstances (other than the usual ones of increased
>casting times, backlash etc.) could be reasonable and what discounts
>would be reasonable (the Celestial Hepdomad must be present, all 7
>members must be Exalted, etc.)
>- how can you give a VoP sorcerer with Spellcraft +35 enough bonuses to
>make this Spellcraft DC with a Take 10?

I don't think it's possible other than by ritual spellcasting.
Whoever's doing the providing could also provide some people to help
cast the spell.

Note, however, that as written your DC is *WAY* low--you forgot the x5
for permanency. Not to mention the fact that the spell is uncastable,
period--permanent stat bonuses become inherent and are capped at +5.

One thing to bring down the DC somewhat--he can cast 3 spells. Don't
provide one super-spell, provide 3 that do parts of what you are
after.
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 4:40:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Loren Pechtel wrote:
> I don't think it's possible other than by ritual spellcasting.
> Whoever's doing the providing could also provide some people to help
> cast the spell.

The Sorcerer in question will take the Epic Spellcasting feat. If the
epic spell is provided to him (stone tablet or some such), he can cast
it himself. Higher coolness factor and all that.

> Note, however, that as written your DC is *WAY* low--you forgot the x5
> for permanency. Not to mention the fact that the spell is uncastable,
> period--permanent stat bonuses become inherent and are capped at +5.

It is not 'permanent', it is a spell with an undetermined duration. If
one of the 7 dies, it ends. After the job is done, it ends. I guess
that will have to be added to the final spell description. It is
definitely not finalised yet.

Inherent stat bonus could not be dispelled anyway (and would still
function in an antimagic field), and would actually make their stats
HIGHER, since most of them already will have +6 enhancement bonus to
all stats anyway (that's only 216,000 gp worth of treasure anyway -
peanuts at that level). I want them to have +8, let's just say I think
it sounds like a nicer number.

An epic spell is just that, epic. Of course it can be cast.

> One thing to bring down the DC somewhat--he can cast 3 spells. Don't
> provide one super-spell, provide 3 that do parts of what you are
> after.

He could only cast 2 spells, not 3 (it is one per 10 ranks of Knowledge
(arcana), rounded down like everything else; at lvl. 25 he will have 28
ranks). But that is per day. Give him a week of casting time - they
have that if need be - and he could cast 14 epic spells. Gee, they're
all permanent anyway. We don't need to add all the seeds, so while you
would need to multiply all of the individual final DCs by 5, each of
these separate spells would have the same ballpark figure DC anyway.
The question would then become 'how do I let him reach DC ~ 125, but 14
times in a row?'

Ever played Heroes of Might and Magic? They had two spells, Hour of
Power and Day of Protection. Hour of Power basically casts all 'get
better at attack' spells at once; Day of Protection basically casts all
'get better at defense' spells at once.

Somehow, Hour of Power and Day of Protection (the 'super-spell' you
mention) sounded / felt a lot cooler than just casting the individual
spells.

Skimming through the epic spells, I find many Spellcraft DCs - and the
associated 'expected spellcaster with high enough Spellcraft' out of
line. Hellball is, what, DC 90, and does a total of 40d6 energy, neatly
divided over 4 energy types. A Spellcaster with Spellcraft 80+ could
also easily cast, say, an Enhanced Metamagic Energy Substituted
Intensified Fireball. With Improved Metamagic, that is only a lvl. 12
slot. Or lvl. 10 if you take Improved Metamagic twice. That is 40d6
damage, but maximized, of only one energy type, does not have backlash,
and does not cost you XP to develop or XP to cast in the first place...
And I'm sure you can do better.
Anonymous
August 19, 2005 11:23:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 19 Aug 2005 00:40:05 -0700, "Arandor" <arandor@gmail.com> wrote:

>Loren Pechtel wrote:
>> I don't think it's possible other than by ritual spellcasting.
>> Whoever's doing the providing could also provide some people to help
>> cast the spell.
>
>The Sorcerer in question will take the Epic Spellcasting feat. If the
>epic spell is provided to him (stone tablet or some such), he can cast
>it himself. Higher coolness factor and all that.

He casts it himself but has helpers contributing spell slots--ritual
casting.

>> Note, however, that as written your DC is *WAY* low--you forgot the x5
>> for permanency. Not to mention the fact that the spell is uncastable,
>> period--permanent stat bonuses become inherent and are capped at +5.
>
>It is not 'permanent', it is a spell with an undetermined duration. If
>one of the 7 dies, it ends. After the job is done, it ends. I guess
>that will have to be added to the final spell description. It is
>definitely not finalised yet.

Ok, withdraw that objection.

>Inherent stat bonus could not be dispelled anyway (and would still
>function in an antimagic field), and would actually make their stats
>HIGHER, since most of them already will have +6 enhancement bonus to
>all stats anyway (that's only 216,000 gp worth of treasure anyway -
>peanuts at that level). I want them to have +8, let's just say I think
>it sounds like a nicer number.

And this is also moot--it's only permanent stat boosts that have the
issue.

>An epic spell is just that, epic. Of course it can be cast.

No--there are some things not permitted even with epic casting. As
originally worded this was one of them. Since you have errataed the
permanent this objection is moot.

>> One thing to bring down the DC somewhat--he can cast 3 spells. Don't
>> provide one super-spell, provide 3 that do parts of what you are
>> after.
>
>He could only cast 2 spells, not 3 (it is one per 10 ranks of Knowledge
>(arcana), rounded down like everything else; at lvl. 25 he will have 28
>ranks). But that is per day. Give him a week of casting time - they

You're right--I was reading his spellcraft score instead of his
knowledge score.

>Ever played Heroes of Might and Magic? They had two spells, Hour of
>Power and Day of Protection. Hour of Power basically casts all 'get
>better at attack' spells at once; Day of Protection basically casts all
>'get better at defense' spells at once.

Where did they have these??

>Somehow, Hour of Power and Day of Protection (the 'super-spell' you
>mention) sounded / felt a lot cooler than just casting the individual
>spells.

You can't normally pre-buff in that game, mass buffs were very
valuable for that reason.

>Skimming through the epic spells, I find many Spellcraft DCs - and the
>associated 'expected spellcaster with high enough Spellcraft' out of
>line. Hellball is, what, DC 90, and does a total of 40d6 energy, neatly
>divided over 4 energy types. A Spellcaster with Spellcraft 80+ could
>also easily cast, say, an Enhanced Metamagic Energy Substituted
>Intensified Fireball. With Improved Metamagic, that is only a lvl. 12
>slot. Or lvl. 10 if you take Improved Metamagic twice. That is 40d6
>damage, but maximized, of only one energy type, does not have backlash,
>and does not cost you XP to develop or XP to cast in the first place...
>And I'm sure you can do better.

Epic damage spells are almost always garbage.
Anonymous
August 20, 2005 2:38:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Arandor" <arandor@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1124365624.081063.137460@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> A little background: the campaign is drawing near its end. The players
> will probably go up against a couple of god-like beings. They'll be no
> wussies themselves (ECL ~ 25) but it's still intended to be tough, but
> doable.
>
> The players' "last stand" will commence on Mt. Celestia, where the
> Celestial Hepdomad (Domiel, Erathaol, Raziel, Sophis Pistia, etc.) will
> imbue them with some of their power, a blessing from above.
>
> This will be reflected by an epic spell. One, in fact, that the party
> sorcerer can / wants to cast. At lvl. 25, if he does not take Epic
> Skill Focus, I expect his Spellcraft to be around +35: +28 ranks, +2
> Intelligence, +3 Skill Focus, +2 synergy from Knowledge (arcana). This
> does not include any magic items... he happens to have Vow of Poverty
> as well. (The epic spell will be provided.)
>
> The spell itself would roughly have the following effect:
>
> * a 'telepathic bond' between all 7 members
> * +8 enhancement bonus to all 6 stats for all 7 members
> * Righteous Might (since all are medium-size, this means +4 size bonus
> Str, +4 size bonus Constitution, Large size so -1 size penalties, DR
> 9/evil, etc.)
> * Divine Power (+6 enhancement bonus is superseded, so 'only' BAB = +20
> and +20 temporary hit points)
> * this bond can not be dispelled, is not subject to antimagic, etc. It
> is permanent until one of the 7 is killed.
> * the 7 members count as archons (gain the archon subtype, including
> all traits thereof)
>
> Looking at the epic seeds, a ballpark figure would be:
>
> seed: contact (23, +5 for 5 additional members)
> seed: dispel (19, +2 'ad-hoc' for dispel protection)
> seed: fortify (17, +14 for +7 additional bonus)
> seed: transform (21, +5 for other creature type)
> seed: ward (14, +5 for 5 additional resistance)
>
> For a total of 23+5+19+2+17+14+21+5+14+5 or DC 125...
>
> My questions:
>
> - what would a 'real' Spellcraft DC for such a spell be (keeping in
> mind that all 7 members already will have +6 enhancement bonus to all 6
> stats
> - what mitigating circumstances (other than the usual ones of increased
> casting times, backlash etc.) could be reasonable and what discounts
> would be reasonable (the Celestial Hepdomad must be present, all 7
> members must be Exalted, etc.)
> - how can you give a VoP sorcerer with Spellcraft +35 enough bonuses to
> make this Spellcraft DC with a Take 10?
>

Just call it a plot device, and make the DC the Sorceror's Spellcraft bonus
+10.

The Epic Spell rules are terrible; too much effort to fix them.

Geoff.
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 4:41:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Loren Pechtel wrote:
> He casts it himself but has helpers contributing spell slots--ritual
> casting.

Allright. I was just noting that spellcasters contributing slots
towards an epic spell (one of the known ways to lower DC) does not mean
that the Sorcerer would not be casting an epic spell himself.

There will definitely be a ritual, with the whole friggin' Hepdomad
contributing... Hope it'll help.

> You're right--I was reading his spellcraft score instead of his
> knowledge score.

Spellcraft would have the same issue - it's based on ranks, not on
score. In either he will have (a maximum of) 28 ranks, so only 2
spells.

> Where did they have these??

I forgot - you got them quite late in the game. It's been ages since I
played.

> You can't normally pre-buff in that game, mass buffs were very
> valuable for that reason.

Oh, yes, Day of Protection and Hour of Power were very nice. But you
basically needed them (and often they still would not save your *ss).
And if you came down to it - "all" it does is save you some time: you
do not get anything you could not get by casting a couple of separate
spells.

I am of the school of thought that states "it's cool, it does not get
you anything you could not get with casting a lot of small spells,
we're friggin' epic so let's do away with the lvl. 1 and lvl. 2 spells
and cast a REAL spell... assign a DC / mana cost / spell point drain /
whatever and go".

Superspell, sure, but you deserved it.

> Epic damage spells are almost always garbage.

Not just epic damage spells... I found most example spells to be pretty
bad for what they were supposed to do. What was the DC for Dire Winter
again?
!